Thursday, August 27, 2009
The Consecration of a Paten and Chalice in the Traditional Rite of 1962

CONSECRATION OF A PATEN AND A CHALICE

(From the new Roman Pontifical of 1962)

{The consecration of a paten and of a chalice may be delegated to a priest, who follows the same rite given here for a bishop, omitting, however, the directions that do not pertain to a priest.

The consecration of a paten and chalice may take place on any day and at any convenient place.

The following are prepared: holy chrism and whatever materials are necessary for cleansing and wiping the chalice and paten as well as the bishop's hands. The chalice and paten should be placed on a table covered with a white-linen cloth or on the altar.

If several chalices and patens are to be consecrated the bishop performs the anointings successively on each of them, but he says the orations only once and in the plural form.

The bishop, standing and wearing the rochet, white stole, and gold-embroidered mitre, says:

Celebrant: Our help is in the name of the Lord.

All: Who made heaven and earth.

C: Let us pray, my dear brethren, that by the help of God's grace this paten (these patens) may be consecrated and hallowed for the purpose of breaking over it (them) the body of our Lord Jesus Christ, who suffered death on the cross for the salvation of us all.

Then, removing the mitre, he says:

C: The Lord be with you.

All: May He also be with you.

Let us pray.

Almighty everlasting God, who instituted the laws of sacrifice, and ordered among other things that the sprinkled wheaten flour should be carried to the altar on plates of gold and silver; be pleased to bless, hallow, + and consecrate this paten (these patens), destined for the administration of the Eucharist of Jesus Christ, your Son, who for our salvation and that of all mankind chose to immolate Himself on the gibbet of the cross to you, God the Father, with whom He lives and reigns, forever and ever.

All: Amen.


Having put on the mitre, he dips the thumb of his right hand into the holy chrism, anoints the paten from rim to rim in the form of a cross, and then rubs the holy chrism all over the upper side of the paten, while saying the following formula:

Lord God, may you deign to consecrate and to hallow this paten by this anointing and our blessing, + in Christ Jesus our Lord, who lives and reigns with you forever and ever.

All: Amen.

Then (still standing and wearing the mitre) he proceeds to the blessing of the chalice, saying:

Let us pray, my dear brethren, that our Lord and God, by His heavenly grace and inspiration, may hallow this chalice (these chalices), about to be consecrated for use in His ministry, and that He may add the fulness of His divine favor to the consecration performed by us; through Christ our Lord.

All: Amen.

Then, removing the mitre, he says:

C: The Lord be with you.

All: May He also be with you.

Let us pray.


O Lord our God, be pleased to bless + this chalice (these chalices), made by your devout people for your holy service. Bestow that same blessing which you bestowed on the hallowed chalice of your servant, Melchisedech. And what we cannot make worthy of your altars by our craft and metals, do you nonetheless make worthy by your blessing; through Christ our Lord.

All: Amen.


Having put on the mitre, he dips the thumb of his right hand into the holy chrism and anoints each chalice on the inside from rim to rim In the form of a cross, while saying the following formula: Lord God, may it please you to consecrate and to hallow this chalice by this anointing and our blessing, + in Christ Jesus our Lord, who lives and reigns with you forever and ever.

All: Amen.

Then, removing the mitre, he says the following over the chalice and paten (chalices and patens):

C: The Lord be with you.

All: May He also be with you.

Let us pray.

Almighty everlasting God, we beg you to impart to our hands the virtue of your blessing, so that by our blessing + this vessel and paten (these vessels and patens) may be hallowed and become, by the grace of the Holy Spirit, a new sepulchre for the body and blood of our Lord Jesus Christ; through Christ our Lord.

All: Amen.

When the consecration is over a priest cleans the chalice and paten with crumbs of bread and purifies them thoroughly. These cleansing materials are put into the sacrarium.



Special Notice to Servers:

An altar server should never touch anything that is Consecrated such as the Body and Blood of Our Lord in the Eucharist (no one except a priest should touch the Eucharist). However, a server should also never touch a consecrated Chalice, Paten, or the altar itself as these three items were all consecrated in the traditional form.

I highly encourage all servers and those aspiring to serve at the Altar of God, to see my post on the History and Graces from Altar Serving for more information.

Blessings vs. Consecrations

Fr. Z from WDTPRS has a good piece on this particular matter:
We speak about the consecration of certain places, things and people. People to be consecrated, for example, include bishops and some women who are virgins. An abbot, however, is blessed. A corner-stone of a church is blessed, but the stone of an altar is consecrated. Priests can bless, but generally only bishops consecrate.

A distinction can be made about church buildings which are consecrated in a very special way called a "dedication". Also, while confirmation and ordination are also consecrations, in a sense, they are really separate sacraments. There is a lot of debate about just what the consecration of a bishop really does, since they are already priests and priests, by their priesthood, can pretty much everything bishops can do. Once upon a time, priests were permitted to ordain! Some theologians think episcopal consecration really just extends the sacramental character already present, etc. But I digress.

By constitutive blessings (blessings which make something a blessed thing) and by consecrations objects and people are, as it were, removed from the secular, temporal realm and given over instead to God exclusively. It is as if they are extracted from the world under the domination of its diabolical "prince" and given exclusively to the King. Before, they were "profane". After, they are "sacred". Thus, a consecration is a once for all time act. Once something is consecrated, it is forever consecrated. Blessings can be repeated. Thus, harming or doing wrong to or with something or someone who is consecrated is thus its own kind of sin: sacrilege.

....

When considered from the older, pre-Conciliar rites, which we happily can use today, it is usually a bishop who consecrates chalices and patens. It was/is possible to delegate a priest to consecrate these things. The consecration makes these things suitable for the worship of God and being vessels for the Most Holy.

In the old days, chalices and patens (as well as ciboria for Hosts and monstrances or ostensoria for Exposition) had to be consecrated before they could be used at the altar. In the new way of doing things, vessels can be consecrated (though I think in the new rites they just bless them in a sort of vague and good natured way) or they become consecrated automatically the first time they are used. That is a real loss of a teaching moment, I think, but there it is.

....

Back to work… once vessels are consecrated they stay consecrated until something major is done to alter them. For example, if the chalice and paten are worn and sent off to be regilded or repaired, they have to be consecrated again.

The consecration of these vessels also calls to mind the extremely ancient practice going back to the time of Pope Sixtus I (+c. 127) that only priests, whose hands were also anointed with chrism, could handle chalices and patens. Remember also the good custom of kissing the priests hand, which is anointed and is raised in blessing and in absolution and which hold the Eucharist.

Constitutive blessings and consecrations are very important. Blessing and consecrating solemnly could help people understand better the distinction of profane and sacred and how blessed and consecrated things can help us in our spiritual lives and our constant fight against the enemy of the soul.
Sources:

Image Sources for Images of the Ceremony: His Excellency Bishop Williamson/True Restoration Photos
Blessing Source: Sancta Missa - Rituale Romanum
Fr. Z Source: Consecration of a Paten and a Chalice

6 comments:

August 27, 2009 at 8:27 PM
Paul Goings said...

How odd that His Excellency is wearing a surplice rather than the rochet, and that his assistant is wearing the cassock only.

August 28, 2009 at 8:58 AM
Christopher Milton said...

Talk to me about altar servers not touching the chalice/paten...

Can an altar server handle it through a chalice veil? with gloves on?

Are a permanent deacon's hands annointed with chrism, since they elevate the chalice?

August 28, 2009 at 9:26 AM
Mark said...

Paul: how is it odd? It's not in the context of Mass, so surely the requirements of being vested are on the Bishop and not anyone else?

Christopher: I believe in cases of dire necessity, they can touch them using a veil/cloth, but even then only with the Priest's permission. Even then, I've only ever done that for the ciborium and never the chalice.

August 28, 2009 at 9:43 AM
Paul Goings said...

Mark,

The Caeremoniale Episcoporum gives directions for all of the pontifical rites, including the consecration of chalices. The bishop should wear the rochet, and the assistants surplices. Thus I find it odd that Bp Williamson has deliberately chosen to ignore the rubrics in this instance.

August 28, 2009 at 10:08 AM
Mark said...

interesting; sorry, Paul, I didn't know that. Maybe there is some contextual fact we are unaware of.

March 27, 2011 at 8:35 AM
Anonymous said...

Why does the priest cover the chalice during the concecration?

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